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Posted by Edge767 | Oct 05, 2015 @ 03:28 PM | 2,986 Views
I finally got a chance to go out to the local club yesterday, and I'm glad I did. Even though winds were 3-10 mph (gusting) from the North, those winds were predominantly down the runway and only sometimes at a crosswind from the North-East.

I took three planes this time: My Albatros, Spitfire, and the queen of the squadron, the P-47D. All three planes were flown twice for about 5 minutes each, and it was a great time with each of them.

The Spitfire seemed a bit twitchy on its first flight, having flown it after the P-47 which flies like it's on rails. I dialed in some expo on the transmitter and the second flight was far smoother and looked better.

The Albatros was a better flying plane than I remembered. I haven't flown it in over a year, and while I remembered that it required a lot more coordination to fly it than the WWII birds, what made the experience really nice was that I used 2200 mAh batteries in it installed far more aft than the usual 1300 mAh batteries that the plane calls for. Doing this puts the CG back just a little, but it really made the plane fly better, nicer, and landings/takeoffs were sweet. I will be taking this plane to the field with me more often. As always, it got the most looks and comments. People love seeing a red bi-plane.

The Jug was once again the show-stealer for me. This plane just flies so incredibly well. I like it so much, I have another one in the box just in case I crash this one up too badly. For me, it flies exceptionally well, and even when it's windy or gusty, it just behaves nicely. Always a pleasure to fly this plane.

All in all, it was a great day of flying. I wish I could have gone out again today, but work and such kept me indoors. Maybe tomorrow.
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 27, 2015 @ 01:19 PM | 2,386 Views
Here in Houston, winds are 10-15 mph today and I decided since it looks so pretty outside, I may as well go out and fly.

Of the two, obviously, the Mustang flies much better, cutting through the wind like a plane much bigger. The only caveat is landing where the plane begins to feel more like a foamie and less like a bigger plane. The Corsair, on the other hand, feels like a foamie through the entire flight being thrown around and buffeted like crazy.

The obvious victor: Mustang.
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 27, 2015 @ 02:14 AM | 2,360 Views
All that's left to put on the tail is the BuNo, but otherwise, this P-51D, named "Gellibean" (pronounced like "jellybean") after my daughter's childhood nickname, is done.

I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I did some light weathering/smoking but decided not to go overboard with it.

The markings, while fictitious, are accurately placed and sized. I'm really enjoying making my RC planes look like flying models almost as much as I enjoy flying them (which is A LOT!).
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 23, 2015 @ 02:35 AM | 2,615 Views
This past Friday, I took my E-Flite Mustang out for a little low-level fun at the local club. My son took some video and I put it together into this short three minute video.

It was a lot of fun, and I love flying this plane! It goes to the field with me every time I go.

Parkzone Mustang Flying Low (3 min 9 sec)

Posted by Edge767 | Mar 23, 2015 @ 12:20 AM | 2,632 Views
After talking to some guys and watching planes that others at the club are flying, I've decided to get back into glow and even gas. I'm not looking forward to the cleanup and the slime, but I am looking forward to the speed and the ol' dirty mechanical aspect. The smell of glow fuel reminds me of when my father and I used to mess with the stuff back when I was a kid. I wish he was still around to experience the electric flight revolution, but I know he'd also still enjoy flying the ol' smokies, so that's what I'm going to do. A fellow club member sold me some planes and engines (and field equipment!) and I'm in the process of making everything flight-worthy again (very minor tweaks and repairs which are understandable for planes not flown in a long time; hence their being sold to me).

Here is the Q500 pylon racer (which has an OS .25 FX on it) and an OS .45 F and an OS .65 LA. I will figure out what to do with the two bigger engines at some point.

I also picked up another P-47, this one is a Razorbac, made by FMS, and is electric powered.

I'm in the process of getting an AR635 receiver setup and working properly with it and I've already stripped off the markings so that I can repaint it and get it ready for markings to make it Robbie Johnson's "Lucky" P-47C. After reading his book, I think it would be a great tribute to a pilot with 20 German kills in WWII.

Within a few weeks, I'll be buying a 30cc Yak with a 31cc DLA engine on it. I'm looking forward to getting into the bigger planes and the gas engines. I flew a 120cc Edge today, and it was amazingly smooth and tight, even in the winds we had today in Houston.

I never thought I'd "go back," but the lure is too strong. I love my warbirds, but it's time to branch out a bit. That's what's great about this hobby; there are so many ways to enjoy it!
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 18, 2015 @ 04:02 PM | 2,713 Views
Here is my list of Horizon Hobby's planes in order of where I feel they fall into a ranking. As always, these are just my opinion and I'm not in any way discrediting or challenging anyone else's opinions.

P-47D This is, without question, the best warbird turned into an RC plane ever. It's almost as if the designers at Republic thought ahead. "When radio controlled aircraft are cheap and easy to produce, this design will be perfect for scale modeling." Indeed, the P-47 hits all the right points for a great RC plane: four-channel primary control (rudder/elevator/ailerons/throttle) as well as two options that complete this "full house" warbird: flaps and retracts. With the optional flaps and retracts, this plane is one of the best performing and easiest to land warbirds I've ever flown. The wide stance of the landing gear make it a dream for ground handling, although if operating from grass, a washer on the aft screws to add a little more forward rake might be necessary to combat nose-overs. Takeoffs and landings with the P-47 are straight forward, and with little practice, ground handling is easy and stable. In flight, the plane is stable, relatively fast, and very well mannered. While not a trainer, I would consider it to be a great tailwheel and aileron trainer for those moving from a Super Cub or T-28. The one down-side would be the silver color which can blend in to overcast skies a bit too well, but on a sunny or partly cloudy day, this is a great...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 16, 2015 @ 03:29 PM | 3,037 Views
I'm now done with three planes after having utilized my airbrush and Valspar latex paints and Michael's generic paints. I am now very happy with the outcomes!

The Fw190A8 turned out really well. I finally re-did the mottling/spots on the fuselage and some subtle weathering. The results were very well received at the club flying field this past weekend.

The Bf109G is also complete, and while the ground handling still bothers me, now at least it looks as nicely as it flies.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 09, 2015 @ 12:34 AM | 3,034 Views
Well, I was able to get a lot more of the plane done today, but I think I will do a little more to make the spots on the fuselage bigger.

While I think it looks okay, I think once the spots are a bit bigger it will look better.
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 03, 2015 @ 05:10 PM | 2,821 Views
Next up on the project list of repainting with the airbrush is my Parkzone Fw190A8. This plane has gone through three paint schemes in its life: The original German scheme, a poorly-executed Hungarian scheme, and a less poorly executed Hungarian scheme which, while not nearly as nice as what I'm about to do to the plane with an airbrush, was okay. Here it is with two of my other favorites:

Now, it looks like this:

It is oversprayed with the bluish light gray so that I can go over it with the green and gray to make tighter lines and then I will also repaint the wing/fuselage juncture and the mottling.

What is most interesting with this repaint is that I didn't have to remove and get new markings. I airbrushed over the decals I got from Callie Graphics and after the paint dried, I wiped them off with a wet Q-Tip. Here are photos after I painted and then after I removed the overspray with the Q-Tip:

...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 02, 2015 @ 05:33 PM | 2,550 Views
So, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I decided to add more mottling to the camouflage (which is correct/proper) as well as some weathering with exhaust stains and gun smoke stains. I also painted the nose cone/spinner the right color. The last thing I will have to do is get Callie to make me the squadron sticker I can put on the nose of the plane. I still can't believe this is all Valspar latex!!!

Here is how the plane looks now. I'm very pleased with the results!

...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Mar 01, 2015 @ 09:10 PM | 2,947 Views
For my Parkzone foamies, I typically head down to Lowe's with the horizontal stabilizer and have them paint match the colors so that I will have touch-up paint available on the cheap. So far, I've been very fortunate in that the color matching has been spot-on for five planes.

While I've had an airbrush for over 25 years, I haven't pulled it out in over 10 to use on my RC planes. I, instead, painted by hand. While this yields sufficient results, it doesn't really look "good." After seeing so many planes posted on RC groups that look amazing, I decided it was time to dust-off the ol' airbrush and put it to good use on my planes.

The first decision I had to make was whether I would use the Valspar to paint the planes, or if I'd go and spend more money on getting more paint and hope it matches well. I decided to stick with the Valspar after reading some articles here on RC Groups and after watching some videos on YouTube on the subject. What I learned was that using latex paint is fine as long as it is thinned. What you thin the paint with was what had me wondering if this was a real solution. Everywhere I read recommended using automotive window cleaner; the stuff you put in your windshield washer reservoir.

So, I decided that I'd re-paint a plane I built from a spare airframe kit a few years ago: the Parkzone Bf109G. After some Valspar and an airbrush and about four hours, it now looks like this:

...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Feb 26, 2015 @ 02:47 AM | 3,730 Views
It's been sitting in the closet for over a year, but tonight, I brought out the ol' MSRX and began re-familiarizing myself with it and its controls.

A little background: two years ago, my wife bought me this little helicopter for Christmas. She knew how antsy I get during the winter months when I can't fly much, so she got me something I could "Fly indoors." I spent a lot of time with this little helicopter and learned a lot about RC helicopters in the process. I performed a few performance upgrades and started becoming quite proficient at basic maneuvers.

Then, for a reason unknown to me, I just stopped flying it. Perhaps spring came and allowed me to fly my fixed-wing aircraft or whatever, but I put it back in its box and there it has sit for over a year. Another interesting aside: when Horizon discontinued the MSRX, I happened to be in a hobby store where they were selling them deeply discounted: $39 instead of the usual $119. I bought a second one thinking it was at least worth that in parts. I still have the second MSRX sitting in its box as well, never flown.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Feb 09, 2015 @ 12:09 PM | 3,498 Views
This past Saturday, I did something I don't often do: I flew in winds in excess of 14 mph. Why did I do this, considering I fly mostly small-ish foamies? Well, to challenge myself a bit.

Initially, I flew someone's Dynam Spitfire for them as he didn't want to maiden it himself, having been new to the hobby. I agreed to take the plane up, and after checking the plane to make sure everything was attached and operating properly (it was!), I took off into the wind. Almost immediately, there were problems. The plane didn't want to respond to elevator input. After about a minute, it seemed to be trimmed out, so I handed it over to another pilot. He took it over and immediately he said he didn't have elevator control. We watched the plane almost hit some trees before climbing again and he handed the controls back to me. I brought the plane in toward the runway using throttle to control attitude, and was able to get the plane onto the ground in one piece after a bit of a rough landing in grass. Fortunately, only a cosmetic piece broke off, and it can be easily repaired. The culprit; the control rod disconnected from the control horn on the elevator.

My second flight was in helping the same gentleman trim out his Dallas Doll P-51D Mustang. I got the plane up in the air, trimmed it out, and he flew it for a while. Then, they asked me to land it. At this point in the morning, the winds were gusting over 14 mph. I was able to land the Mustang, but it was a bit bouncier than I'd...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Jan 05, 2015 @ 11:57 AM | 3,392 Views
I've seen discussions on the forums here around skill levels, proficiency, and ability. Admittedly, these discussions didn't use the aforementioned words, but the fact remains that the discussions around those topics did take place. What is interesting to me is how many people in the hobby seem to confuse being merely functional by having the ability to put a plane in the air and bring it down more or less intact with being truly proficient at flying. What's the difference?

Functional Pilot: Can get a plane into the air without using rudder to keep the plane safe or to counter the effects of torque and/or P-Factor. Can keep directional awareness (for the most part) and can land the plane without breaking any major pieces.

Proficient Pilot: Can take off while keeping the plane on center (or imaginary center), flies safely and always keeping directional awareness while avoiding orientation issues, and can land the plane gently.

I understand the enthusiasm we have for the hobby. It's why we're all here (yes, me included). I've been flying small planes controlled remotely for over 35 years, and I still feel like a kid when I do it; excited. It's why I try to keep to checklists; my enthusiasm has caused me to forget a few things that compromised the safety of my aircraft over the years. That enthusiasm is what drives us to share videos of flights that showcase marginal ability.

What troubles me is the culture of "I shared my video, don't criticize me or you're being...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Dec 08, 2014 @ 04:27 PM | 3,400 Views
While flying my P-47D yesterday, I encountered a hung landing gear; it would not extend after retracting. I elected to land gear-up, and as the grass was still moist, the plane slid safely and did not pick up any "road rash." After taking the plane to the bench to troubleshoot the problem, I saw that the entire bottom of the wing was covered with mud and grass, and that the landing gear retract mechanism was filled with dirt. I decided to wait until the dirt dried before further working on it.

Once I got home, I found this:

It was dry and very easy to get out, as the dirt is mostly a sandy material. I used a brush to get the dirt off the wings and as much as I could from the gear mechanism, but it still looked like this.

I then used a toothbrush and used compressed air to blow the loose dirt out of the gear mechanism. After trying to cycle the gear, it was still very difficult to do so. I had to help it along to get it going the first two times. I used compressed air between cycles, both up and down, to blow out the dirt as it was becoming dislodged from inside the grub screw area. After 10 cycles, the gear worked as good as new, and even sounded like new (which it hadn't done for the past year).

...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Dec 02, 2014 @ 11:11 PM | 3,161 Views
When I ordered my decals from Callie, I unknowingly sent her squadron markings that were too small for my Mustang. I realized the error once I put them on my Mustang. I emailed her and told her my predicament and she was kind enough to send me out larger squadron markings for a very small fee (barely covered postage!).

Today, I put the markings on the plane, and I think they look great!

I plan on taking a picture with all my Callie Graphics custom planes and sending them to her as a thanks for the quality work and attention to detail. Her "Nomenclature Set" for the Mustang is a must-have for anyone planning on detailing their Mustangs properly.
Posted by Edge767 | Nov 06, 2014 @ 03:10 AM | 3,748 Views
The envelope from Callie Graphics arrived last night and I eagerly set upon transforming my "Dallas Doll" into "Gellibean," a plane named for my daughter, "Gelli" (pronounced like "Jelly.) I carefully removed the stock stickers, used the silver Sharpie to cover up where the paint lifted away with the original stickers, and then applied the Callie decals. I'm still not done as there are at least another 100 small factory stencil stickers to put on, but at this point, the plane looks as close to complete as it can.

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Posted by Edge767 | Oct 24, 2014 @ 03:39 PM | 3,093 Views
I just sent the email to Callie Graphics for the new graphics set I'm going to put on my Mustang. In keeping with naming my planes after the women in my family, this one will be named for my daughter, Gelli.

The Squadron identifier "HU" corresponds with our last name, and is fictitious. The "A" corresponds to her actual first name. The name on the nose is what I called her as a little girl.

I can't wait for the decals to get here for me to put them on and get pictures to post. It's going to be a pretty and original plane!
Posted by Edge767 | Oct 12, 2014 @ 03:52 PM | 3,738 Views
When I returned to the hobby of flying small RC planes, as I wrote in an earlier post, the plane that brought me back was the Parkzone Mustang. It was a fragile beauty of a plane that had a brushed motor, NiMh batteries, and proprietary receiver and servos. As it was intended to be a park flyer, it wasn't engineered to be a hefty and durable plane. It was intended to be a plane that brought people into the hobby by allowing them to fly at their local parks or playgrounds, and the hope was that it would turn those new pilots into customers who bought bigger and better planes. Of course, what really ended up happening was that the size and ease of use of these planes brought about an entire new facet of our hobby.

Parkzone eventually began making better, more durable planes, and started using Z-Foam which was more durable, repairable, and better suited for keeping long-term. With the addition of retractable landing gear, flaps, and in some cases, droppable payload, the Park Flyer class of planes has truly come into its own, and there are many people who enjoy the ease of construction and the solid performance of these planes. I can be counted among those fans of these planes.

Last month, Horizon Hobby (parent company of Parkzone, Hobbyzone, Hangar 9, and E-Flite) released a new P-51D Mustang in the Park Flyer size, except this time, they brought the heat. While Parkzone is known for the Park Flyers, E-Flite is known for being the line that people graduate to from Parkzone...Continue Reading
Posted by Edge767 | Oct 07, 2014 @ 03:36 PM | 3,392 Views
The vast majority of my planes are RTF's or ARF's, but that doesn't stop me from making them my own. I like to customize my planes with markings, paint, or features. A look through my blog will show you my re-marked P-47D, the split flaps I put on my Spitfire, the complex flaps I put on my Me109G, the paint job I did to my Corsair and my Fw-190A-8, and even the new markings for my third-gen PZ Corsair.

Well, this won't stop with my Mustang. I really love this plane, and I finally decided on a name for it: Gelli Bean. My daughter's nickname is Gelli, and when she was a little girl, I'd call her Gelli Bean. My P-47D is named "Sherry Elisabeth" for my wife who bought it for me as an anniversary gift after she commented that all my planes had girl names but none were named after her. Although my daughter didn't buy this Mustang for me, I'd like to have a plane named after her.

The first step was the plane itself:

I then carefully took the stickers off (the paint gave away very easily and made for a very clean removal, unlike the P-47D) after which I took a silver Sharpie and colored in the are foam left after the sticker removal.

The result looks great, in my opinion!

...Continue Reading